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An efficient strategy allowed English-speaking reviewers to identify foreign-language articles eligible for a systematic review

By Jason W. Busse, Paul Bruno, Keshena Malik, Gaelan Connell, David Torrance, Trung Ngo, Karin Kirmayr, Daniel Avrahami, John J. Riva, Shanil Ebrahim, Peter A. A. Struijs, David Brunarski, Stephen J. Burnie, Frances LeBlanc, Eric A. Coomes, Ivan A. Steenstra, Tesha Slack, Robert Rodine, Janey Jim, Victor M. Montori and Gordon H. Guyatt

Abstract

Objective: To assess English-speaking reviewers' accuracy in determining the eligibility of foreign-language articles for a systematic review. Study Design and Settings: Systematic review of randomized controlled trials of therapy for fibromyalgia. Guided by 10 questions, English-speaking reviewers screened non English-language articles for eligibility. Teams of two native-language speakers provided reference standard judgments of eligibility. Results: Of 15,466 potentially eligible articles, we retrieved 763 in full text, of which 133 were published in 19 non-English languages; 53 trials published in 11 languages other than English proved eligible. Of the 53 eligible articles, English-language reviewers guided by the 10 questions mistakenly judged 6 as ineligible; of the 80 ineligible articles, 8 were incorrectly judged eligible by English-language reviewers (sensitivity = 0.89; specificity = 0.90). Use of a simple three-step rule (excluding languages with less than three articles, reviewing titles and abstracts for clear indications of eligibility, and noting the lack of a clearly reported statistical analysis unless the word "random" appears) led to accurate classification of 51 of 53 articles (sensitivity = 0.96; specificity = 0.70). Conclusion: Our findings show promise for limiting the need for non English-language review teams in systematic reviews with large numbers of potentially eligible non English-language articles. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserve

Year: 2014
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2013.07.002
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Provided by: NARCIS
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